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:Spike in Owls Well that Ends Well


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Gods this is going to be taxing. I couldn't find a clip in this episode, because there's too many things to focus on. Spike acted like an ass in this episode.
No really, i'm not joking, Spike is a genuine ass in this episode. I'm not writing this to justify a characters actions, but to attempt to understand why they chose those actions. I don't believe Spike is a bad character, so when he does bad things, I need to know why. What's the motive?
Well, it's obvious that he was afraid of being replaced. The episode makes it pretty clear that's his main concern. The problem is he passes it off an almost casual thing; he almost completely forgets about leaving Ponyville within an hour of his departure. It's a bit more complex than that, i'm afraid.
Spike is similar to Pinkie in that they both place more value in what they do than in what they say. Spike's very social, but he mainly expresses himself through doing. Housework. It's connected to his wellbeing the same way pinkie's is connected to making her friends smile; without it, he feels worthless.
Spike believes that if he's unable to do things, than he's worthless, and that Twilight and her friends won't want anything to do with him. He's not just scared, he's damn terrified of Owlowiscious. This owl is not just his replacement, but his worst nightmare come to life. He breaks his back this entire episode because his one true place in life is slowly being replaced. When that doesn't work, Spike comes to the logical conclusion that the only way to save himself is to get rid of Owlowiscious, a process which had the unintended side effect of causing Twilight to yell at him,thereby solidifying his worst fears.
Short one this time, because honestly, I find this one to be easier to understand than the last two. Honestly, this explains quite well a lot of what I'm trying to say. Shame the writers came up with it a season or two later. 

 


Edit: Cleaned up the media. This one is more concise.
I'd also like to add. It's not just housework, but work in general. Spike needs to be doing something for other people order to feel useful. We see this in "Spike, at Your Service"; where he owes a life debt to Applejack. Even after leaving Twilight's. he spends most of his time cleaning, even though she obviously didn't ask him too. What was an annoyance to her (and us) was really him just trying to make the most of his time.
This also brings to mind a lot of theories of Spike being a "slave" to Twilight and various other ponies, which I want to debunk. Spike does these things of his own free will, as a token of friendship. We see this most commonly with Rarity. He tends to hang around her a lot, but doesn't want to be a bother. Naturally he gravitated towards what he naturally does; cleaning. Rarity
a) could use help around the house, and
b )doesn't want to hurt Spike's feelings by saying no. She just went along with it. Edited by Shimmer5000
  • Brohoof 2
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Very good and accurate look at things. The most important thing for Spike seems to be being there for the people he cares about and helping them however he can "Congratulations Spike, you're the new Rainbow Dash!". More than anything else though, he wants to be needed. He's also (sometimes) very conscious of his tendency to flub things up and has some anxiety about people deciding that they don't need him anymore. Reminds me a lot of Pinkie in some ways.

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Spike's such an underrated character, and I think people should think about this kind of thing more so that they can appreciate him more. He is well developed in his own episodes but fans seem to just brush him off based on the way he's used as comic relief in other episodes.

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